Four Uniquely Mexican Things That The Whole World Should Adopt

I Love These Four Aspects of Mexican Culture So Much that I Wish They Were Ubiquitous

Travis W. King
7 min readAug 24, 2022

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I’m not from Mexico, but I’ve lived in this beautiful country for almost 3 years. Not being from here has given me a unique perspective on things that feel acutely “Mexican.” I imagine for Mexicans these four things below might just seem “normal.” It’s like the classic joke: Do Italians call Italian food…food? If it’s what you’re used to, if it’s what you’ve grown up with, you might not even notice how special it is.

I’ve traveled to more than 50 counties. I haven’t been everywhere—but it’s on my list, as the saying goes. Some versions of these four things below might be practiced in other countries, but I know them from Mexico. I love them because they make living in Mexico feel more fun, more connected, and more charming overall. Whether you’re from Mexico, a long-term ex-pat, or just a visitor passing through, let me know in the comments what other uniquely Mexican things you love about this beautiful and diverse country!

Vamos con la lista…

Provecho, you lil’ pandas! Photo by Zach Rowlandson on Unsplash.

1. Provecho Culture.

It took me a while to put this into practice because I felt like an imposter at first, but now I never miss an opportunity to offer a “provecho” to fellow diners. Provecho culture refers to the common practice in Mexico, where upon entering or leaving a restaurant, you’ll engage with complete strangers. You specifically engage by telling the other dinners or coffee sippers “enjoy!”—or, in Español, provecho (or buen provecho).

Actually, the exact translation of provecho is “advantage,” so you’re essentially saying, “Take advantage of that taco, my man!” to a stranger. It works sort of like “Bon appetite” in French. But, from my experience, bon appetite is more often used as a platitude by waiters rather than as genuine encouragement from a stranger.

Whenever you leave or enter an establishment where people are eating or drinking in Mexico, you’re encouraged to offer everyone words of encouragement about the consumption of whatever is in front of them. This very morning while crushing a coffee and croissant on a park bench before a long bike…

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Travis W. King

Traveling, writing, & working abroad for 10 years. Former Remote Year Dir. of Community. Check out my travel memoir—Not That Anyone Asked—at www.traviswking.com